Gas Station Clerks Taking Drive-Offs Into Their Own Hands

By: Dave Spencer Email
By: Dave Spencer Email

As most of us know, driving off without paying for gas is against the law. But now those who choose to do it might be getting a letter in the mail from a certain gas station.

For the sake of this story, let's say I drive off without paying at the pump and a clerk or surveillance video catches me in the act. Well, the Department of Transportation would then help the gas station write me a letter.

The letter would read something like this: “Remember when you stole gas from our station? Well, now you owe us the amount of gas you didn't pay for plus an additional 30 dollars for our trouble”.

Of course, I would never do something like that, but according to some lawmakers, it's a real problem in Kentucky, and they're hoping to give police officers a little relief.

"They're just too busy as it is," says Rep. Darryl Owens.

Senator Jack Westwood is the bill's sponsor and his civil liability bill passed unanimously through the Senate. Wednesday, it was debated in a House Committee.

"I'm trying to figure out what protection we have to individuals who are victims or an individual where they got number's wrong," says Senator Westwood.

The bill was passed out of committee and now heads to the House Floor for a vote.

Of course, criminal penalties are still in place and this bill, if passed, would just be an additional tool used by law enforcement.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by prepay Location: ky on Mar 22, 2008 at 05:20 AM
    i was a gas station worker for 6 years.if you had a drive off and didnt get plate number you come up short of money either pay or loose job.had one pull to end pump got 30 dollars worth layed the nozzle down backed up went took down the way he came.if you are working 8 or more pumps you are busy and cannot watch every second.also got robbed this was in early 90s.they got caught someone told who they were.i wouldnt want to be one again.so make them prepay or no gas.
  • by kb Location: lex on Mar 21, 2008 at 09:35 PM
    i can't remember the last time that i used a gas pump that wasn't prepay/pay at the pump. that would solve any drive off problems. it's a pain the butt but it would fix the problem. it's the way of the world.
  • by Jeb Location: KY on Mar 21, 2008 at 05:49 AM
    If someone drives off, it's normally the clerk that has to make up the difference (if I have heard the rules correctly). The clerk doesn't rip us off; they don't set the price. I agree about taking away someone's license for a bit. It's still stealing no matter how you look at it. I can't afford it either, but I'm not going to stoop so low as to steal from someone.
  • by Goebel Location: Lexingtom on Mar 21, 2008 at 05:44 AM
    Now the gas stations know how we fill when we buy gas. Exon made a 50 billion dollar profit last year. Now that is ROBBERY.
  • by Steve Location: KY. on Mar 21, 2008 at 04:45 AM
    Why not rip them off? They rip us off every day! Who do we call?
  • by goofball Location: paris on Mar 20, 2008 at 08:14 PM
    Dear Anonymous: You figure out who had your ride, you go to the police, and sing like a frickin canary!!!LOL
  • by c Location: fkt on Mar 20, 2008 at 06:04 PM
    This is good for the gas stations. Now pass a similiar bill to give ordinary citizens the same right to bill for an extra $30 or so to utility companies who don't provide the service we pay for on a monthly basis. If my phone goes out for a day or two, I don't get any kind of compensation from the company. I should be able to bill them for NOT having the service for those days. Stealing is stealing whether it is an individual or a company. However, most of us individuals don't have any rights to be compensated for our loss while the companies are given ALL the rights! Let us as individuals have the right to get compensation for our losses too! Moreover, I agree that the prepay idea would be the best solution to the whole problem of drive offs. No money, NO GAS. Simple. Likewise, no service, NO MONEY! Simple. Just too simple for our lawmakers, don't you think?
  • by RALPH Location: PIKEVILLE on Mar 20, 2008 at 03:00 PM
    WHAT ABOUT GIVING THE PEOPLE THAT OWN THE GAS STATIONS A RIGHT TO SHOOT THEM IF THEY DRIVE OFF WITHOUT PAYING. I HATE A THEIF (THIEVES)BEEN ROBBED ONCE MYSELF AND STILL LOOKING FOR THEM. HOPE TO FIND THEM SOMEDAY BUT I KNOW THEY HOPE I DON'T.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 20, 2008 at 08:43 AM
    what if someone else was driving my car,and i was not even there
  • by mike Location: bell on Mar 20, 2008 at 07:52 AM
    I Thank the state should take driving license for 2 yrs that should teach them
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